we met up with friends for dinner at Wolfgang Puck's at The Borgata last night and actually had the opportunity to meet the namesake -- who was actually pretty down-to-earth and cool. the food left me feeling a bit funky and the presentation, while delightful to look at, was about enough to feed a small child just learning how to eat table food.
seriously - who pays $19 for an appetizer of 4 bite-sized crab cakes? when there is more plate than food, i get a bit concerned...
it was fun, though, and it was exceedingly enjoyable watching my dear friend neil, whose wine blog i have referred to, go around and do his sommelier bit. i was so proud, it was like watching my younger brother at his first Big Job :)
after we seperated from our friends, we walked to a blackjack table so my husband could play a few hands. ha. a few hands, at $25/hand? i so do not think so! -- can you imagine? it really boggles the mind that he walked away after being down $75/up $50/down $25, and that was after five (5) minutes of play.
as we were walking through the casino in all of its garish gaudiness, along with its interestingly-clad "borgata babe" cocktail servers, i thought to myself: is it any wonder why this industry is just booming? money is exchanged for chips and therefore seems less *real* - it is like playing with monopoly money or the equivalent...bells are ringing, lights flashing hypnotically...slot machines don't even have *arms* any more, they are all push-button technology -- who doesn't like to push a button? no need for cashiers walking around with change, no way...there are slots for bill changers right at the slot machines themselves! heck, no need to leave for anything soon, i am sure, as they will have toilets installed into the seats, but i am digressing.
i am hoping that what is essential is invisible to the eye.
i also do not want to take anything away from the thousands of jobs the industry has given people, the many who are perhaps benefiting in some way from the casinos being in this area, et cetera. i am uncertain where the extra monies are going since we have so many homeless in this area, but i know the casinos do their part in feeding the homeless with their left-overs and such so i am sure it is appreciated by those who run the local rescue mission and soup kitchens.
i left there thinking what an interesting place it was to watch people - hoping for The Big Hit, hoping for that stroke of luck that will change everything, wishful thinking gleaming in their eyes; but all the while, these observations left me melancholy at the same time - so much money. so much wasted, wasted money and yet another life lost again by a patron jumping from a parking garage at the hilton just a day or two ago. i am thinking he didn't jump because he got The Big Hit.
but hey, in retrospect -- we got a cool autograph, huh?